Canadian winters are tough, and they often seem never-ending. But now that the warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to stop being a cave-dweller. That means getting outside to soak up the fresh spring air and feeding your soul with some mood-boosting self-care.
Need a little motivation to indulge beyond the traditional massage, mall haul, or mani-pedi? Here are 10 other healthy ways to treat yourself this spring.
Get a new scent
As you open the windows and let the fresh spring air in, consider adding a new scent to your life. Studies have shown that certain smells can boost your mood and reduce stress, which is as good a reason as any to treat yourself to that new body lotion, or dig into the many benefits of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can also include scented candles, body sprays, diffusers and room sprays.
Book time with a friend
Life can be hectic, which means that sometimes it’s hard to carve out time for everyone who matters. But if you have a bestie you haven’t seen in a while, set something up. Spending time with friends is good for your soul and gives you time to decompress in a positive way as you laugh and catch up. Besides, when it comes to overall well-being and happiness, laughter really is the best medicine.
Check out a new book
Some people like to chill out by binging on a TV show or having a movie marathon. Others prefer losing themselves in a video game. But when it comes to reducing stress, reading may be your best bet. Research has shown that a person’s stress levels can drop by as much as 68 percent after indulging in a book, which makes reading the ultimate relaxation tool. So use up that gift card or visit your local library, and book off an afternoon or evening for some relaxing reading time.
Buy a silk pillowcase
Getting some shut-eye on a silky pillowcase sounds like the ultimate luxury, but there’s more to it than a comfy night’s sleep. Some beauty editors swear by silk for better hair and skin. Unlike cotton, which absorbs moisture, silk allows your hair to glide across the pillow and results in less breakage. It’s also more forgiving on your face because it doesn’t draw moisture out of your skin, which makes it a worthwhile investment when you want to look fresh in the morning.
Grab a face roller
Take your beauty regimen one step further than an average moisturizing mask and invest in one of the latest crazes: a face roller. This tool helps you perform an at-home DIY facial in a matter of minutes, increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to your cells and stimulating collagen production. Plus, it just feels really nice on your skin.
Learn something new
Sometimes you need to push beyond your own boundaries and comfort levels in order to keep learning and growing. Make a conscious effort to learn something new this spring to boost your brain power and reignite your creativity. Whether it’s learning a new skill like paddleboarding or exploring a new neighbourhood on your bike, feeding your brain can be the ultimate form of self-care.
Take a personal day
When was the last time you made your work-life balance a priority? It’s easy to feel guilty for missing work for no real reason at all, but it could be the best way you treat yourself all year. Taking some needed space from your gig can give you a new perspective and help to reset your focus, making you a more balanced person and a better employee in the long run.
Planning a beach vacation or a cottage rental would be nice, but you don’t need to break the bank in order to reap the benefits of water therapy. Instead, go hiking by the lake, head to the ocean for a stroll, or sit by a beautiful fountain for a little inner reflection. Studies have shown that spending time near water slows down the heart rate and reduces stress while boosting mental health and promoting physical activity and general fitness.
Embrace in-season food
Eating enough healthy fruits and vegetables can sometimes feel like a chore during the dreary months, but that perspective will quickly shift when you bite into your first farm-ripe strawberry of summer. From vibrant green beans in June to irresistibly juicy peaches in July and August, there’s no better way to treat yourself in the summer months than by taking a walk to your nearest farmer’s market to load up on fresh, healthy produce.
Plan a swanky brunch
Aside from an excuse to break out your pretty platters and pack in some of that aforementioned friend time, hosting a brunch is a great way to sneak in some delicious, nutrient-dense foods that will punch up your mood. Smoked salmon is full of depression-fighting omega-3s, while blueberries are high in mood-enhancing flavonoids. Add in avocado, which is rich in folate, and some disease-fighting green tea for a complete meal that sparks a deeper perspective on the phrase “treat yo-self.”